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Vietnamese premier urges to make first local COVID-19 vaccine available by next June

Vietnamese premier urges to make first local COVID-19 vaccine available by next June

Friday, June 25, 2021, 14:00 GMT+7
Vietnamese premier urges to make first local COVID-19 vaccine available by next June
Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh (left) is seen during his visit to the Company for Vaccine and Biological Production No. 1 (Vabiotech) on June 24, 2021. Photo: VNA

Vietnam’s Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has requested health authorities and other relevant agencies to speed up their coronavirus vaccine production to debut the first “made in Vietnam” COVID-19 vaccine by June 2022 at the latest.

The premier made the statement during his visit to the Company for Vaccine and Biological Production No. 1 (Vabiotech), under the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, in Hanoi on Thursday.

After touring the company, where one of the four local vaccines are being developed, PM Chinh had a meeting with high-ranking officials from many ministries to discuss measures to speed up the vaccine manufacturing processes.

The PM warned the meeting that the vaccine supply will be in short globally between now and September, while the transfer of vaccine technology cannot be done overnight.

Therefore, he said, the successful implementation of the national vaccine strategy is the number one tool to prevent and reverse the pandemic, since the risk of pathogen entering from the outside is inevitable while new strains of the coronavirus are more dangerous and spread faster.

For the time being, every effort should be put on technology transfer, research and production of COVID-19 vaccines, PM Chinh said.

“There must be a domestically produced COVID-19 vaccine at the latest by June 2022,” the premier directed.

He also asked the Ministry of Health and relevant ministries to set up effective and timely mechanisms and policies for COVID-19 vaccine technology transfer, research and production.

The PM also agreed to earmark a part of the state budget for efforts to produce coronavirus vaccines, beside mobilizing other financial resources, including the national COVID-19 vaccine fund that has been injected with around VND8 trillion (US$347 million).

The health ministry should create the most favorable conditions for domestic vaccine testing, and if the test results are satisfactory and in case of the vaccine scarcity, it can apply to competent authorities for licensing the vaccine for emergency use, the government leader said.

Currently, Vietnam has four potential domestic COVID-19 vaccines, each of which has been developed by Nanogen Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, Vabiotech, the Institute of Vaccines and Medical Biologicals (IVAC), and the Center for Research and Production of Vaccines and Biologicals (Polyvac), respectively.

By Thursday, nearly three million doses of COVID-19 vaccine had been administered nationwide, equivalent to 4 percent of those with vaccination indications, and over 143,100 people had received two full doses of the vaccine, according to the health ministry’s data.

The ministry on Friday noon confirmed 112 new COVID-19 cases, including 109 domestic and three imported cases, which have taken the country’s tally of patients to 14,435, including 5,759 recoveries and 74 deaths.

Of the new cases, 50 were detected in Ho Chi Minh City, which has recently topped the country in daily new COVID-19 infections.

Since April 27, when the pandemic’s fourth wave started in Vietnam, a total of 11,111 domestic COVID-19 cases have been documented.    

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Vinh Tho / Tuoi Tre News

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